Teddy Roosevelt on Immigration

Recently I came upon a comment somewhere which quoted from Teddy Roosevelt on the issue of immigration. I was intrigued by the quote and sought to further explore what this past President of our United States had to say about the "threats" immigrants back in his day posed to his nation and how he attempted to lead his nation in dealing with the "threat". What the heck, by my estimation somehow our nation managed to deal with the "threat" of new immigrants posed back then. Is it wrong to credit some of the success in dealing with this "threat" as being due to the leadership provided by the likes of Teddy Roosevelt?

Now the quote I came across as being attributed to Teddy is fairly accurate, however it seems to redact and insert other of his comments for impact, but it does justice to the comments he made somewhere along the line. While I can agree with the some of the redactions made to the comments for brevity's sake, I can not agree to the further insertion of comments taken out of context.

I am going to link (see it here) to a Snopes.com piece that explores the validity of the comment that I am going to quote. The piece even provides a link to a .pdf file of a document that comes from The Library of Congress to prove the validity of the quote.

What did Teddy Roosevelt have to say? Here is the quote:

In the first place, we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin.But this is predicated upon the person's becoming in every facet an American, and nothing but an American

If he tries to keep segregated with men of his own origin and separated from the rest of America, then he isn't doing his part as an American.

We have room for but one flag, the American flag... We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language... and we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people.

Now if you are astute, you will note my own piece contains redactions. However note the quote does not contain additions. I only left out the portions that pertain to Old World immigrants. Things like the Red Scare and the fear of Old World conflicts.

But what interests me is how Teddy Roosevelt was dealing with the Deutsch(German)-American scare during his time. Teddy only threw down reasonable expectations for Deutsch immigrants to abide by. Become American. Learn English.

Well, evidently my Deutsch-American forefathers understood this. While I come from strong German roots, what little Deutsch (German) I know came from a high school class that I took on the subject (most of which I have since forgotten). It seems that the "scary wave" of Germans coming into America was absorbed and became part of the "great melting pot".

My demands on Mexicans coming into America is no less then the demands my own forefathers faced. My demands? They become American. They learn English.

To further sharpen my demands, I will again quote from Teddy:
If I could I would have the kind of restriction which would not allow any immigrant to come here unless I was content that his grandchildren would be fellow-citizens of my grandchildren.


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